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October 26, 2020

3 min


Retro Living

Table setting with white plates accented by gold flatware atop deep blue napkins and a bright wine

When it comes to the décor of your home, this throwback style is a trend that stands the test of time. A far cry from the ‘far out’ looks you may think of as retro, retro living actually encompasses many styles, ranging from the 1940s all the way to the ‘70s. But there are common features that run throughout this statement style that make it truly timeless. 

Penchant for Patterns

Patterns are ever-present in retro living. Whether it’s the hip geometric patterns of the Mid-Century modern look, or the heavier, monochromatic shapes of Art Deco, patterns are a great way to define your look and draw visual interest to a particular portion of your home. However you pattern your space, opt for oversized and structured to nail the retro look. 

Dining room with white patterned wallpaper, a wide window and a Kimrose chandelier shining above the table
Bathroom sink surrounded by green towels, a standing plant
Color Pop

Retro living is defined by bright pops of color; pinks, blues and oranges set against high-gloss black lacquer furniture to make a space more retro. Gone are the dark wood furniture and basic colors of traditional décor, replaced with fresh, bright colors and black or gold finishes. Lighting with brass finishes, matte black, or a flash of chrome help add a pop to this slick style statement. 

Close-up of an Alexia chandelier
Bedroom with a green accent wall behind the bed with a Emmala chandelier hanging above
Superior Shapes

The retro look can encompass clean-lines and simple shapes or this playful style gives you the freedom to be more organic and detailed, depending on which era you play up. Inspired by the prospect of a future made possible by new technology and machines, the retro look has a functional feel to it that gives it a hopeful, and at times playful, energy. Choose fixtures and accents where metallics and glass effortlessly meld to create this cool, unassuming energy. In the Kimrose chandelier pictured below, geometric shapes take center stage in a gorgeous mix. 

Close-up of a Kimrose chandelier in a dining room setting
A glass of bubbling liquid on side table overlooking a chair set with a pillow

Retro takes old and makes it new. But in order to understand retro, you need to understand the two main styles responsible for its inspired inspiration.

Mid-Century Nods

One of the most popular retro styles is Mid-Century Modern. And you can give a nod to this iconic Mad Men style with touches throughout your space. Modern forms and simplified details help distinguish a current Mid-century look from the kitschy shag carpet some might associate with this style. Shapes that curve and taper give a soft feel to this classic look, as does white glass, circular globe lighting and black or brass finishes. Playful, warm colors like teal and orange can be used as a pop of complementing color to the light wood tones and industrial-like metals of the Mid-century style. 

Living room featuring a dog on a couch with a Birkleigh pendant above and a Branches sconce shining on the wall behind it
Colorful dining room with an Armstrong chandelier hanging
Dining room with a Marilyn chandelier aglow over the table
Art Deco Elegance

A more formal variation of the retro style, Art Deco is luxurious, decorative and detailed. Oversized, stacked patterns and broad, sweeping shapes make this trend unmistakably glamorous. The clear crystal glass of the Kadas chandelier harnesses the glamour of the 1920's. Luxurious not only to the eye, but to the touch, Art Deco pairs hard granite with soft fabrics for contrasting but complementing appeal. Soft, frosted glass gives accents and lighting a diffused, ambient glow, which illuminates and radiates off of high-shine finishes for endless charm. 

Living room with a Kadas chandelier above the couch casting shadows across the back wall
Living room with Alden wall sconces in black during the day by an open window.

Retro style lives on in fab homes and cool cribs alike. Throwing it back to a retro look is a unique way to add accents that feels fresh but uniform and intentional. Any way you spin it, retro style is here to stay.

Looking for a Glam twist on the Retro style?

70's Glam
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